Why PowerPoint?

In the world of technology, PowerPoint presentations would seem to be old-school. When most think of PowerPoint Presentations, they remember a series of slides, usually projected on a screen, without much, if any, interaction on the participant's part. You can change that, and that's what this presentation was all about. I was prompted by my technology instructional adviser to try this with one class last spring, and this summer, I did a 2 hour, hands-on session for 45+teachers in my district.

Why nonlinear? Making the PowerPoint nonlinear makes it a lot like surfing the Interent. You give the students choice in what they are going to explore and when. You empower the students. They can operate in ways similar to the way they do when they are home at night. It tunes them in.

Why media rich? Again, it's all about connecting with the kids in the way they are most accustomed, and what better way of doing so by adding short video or sound clips. Heck, it can even be as basic as adding in illustrative graphics or photos. The key is to engage them.

What's the larger benefit? Differentiated instruction. If a student can view the presentation on an individual computer, he can move at the pace he needs to. One student might spend a minute digesting the content of a slide while another might take several. No problem. Additionally, the embedded media can be reviewed as many times as needed by a student.

These take some time to set up, but hopefully, you can see the benefits of creating nonlinear, media rich Power Points!

Below you'll find three items. I'd suggest downloading the Getting Started document first. It'll help you be ready to make the PowerPoint interactive. Then, to insure that the interactive PowerPoint I created for my in service works for you, first download Upload1.zip. Once on your hard drive, unzip it and find the Digitizing PPT folder. Store this entire folder someplace safe on your hard drive. Then download Upload2.zip. After unzipping it, move the two files in this folder (but not the folder itself) to the Digitizing PPT folder. The DigitizePPT.ppt file should be ready to run!

Disclaimers: The files above were created and tested using Mac OS 10.4.10. Several .mov files are included. You made need to obtain QuickTime for Windows to make them play.